Jesús Castro-Balbi is a world-renowned concert cellist and a fervent advocate of education and the arts in the world. His artistic credits include critically acclaimed performances and broadcasts in the US, Latin America, Europe and Asia, with the Dallas and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestras, the China Philharmonic, the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, the Leipzig Radio Orchestra, the Mexico City Philharmonic and the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru. He has been featured in New York’s Alice Tully Hall, over a dozen times at Carnegie Hall, at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center and at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
Beyond the beloved standard repertoire, he has developed a long-standing affinity with music of our time, bringing the Lutoslawski Cello Concerto to audiences from New Orleans to Lima, performing William Bolcom’s Capriccio at the Cliburn at the Modern series in Fort Worth, presenting the American premiere of Lera Auerbach’s Postscriptum in New York with Clavier Trio, and recording the complete music for cello and piano by Robert Rodriguez with pianist Gloria Lin. To date, he has presented 51 premiere performances of music for cello, the world premiere recording of 17 works, and is the dedicatee of 19 compositions. Notable among these is his 2015 recording of the cello concerto Lord of the Air by Jimmy López for Harmonia Mundi with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra led by Miguel Harth-Bedoya.
He enjoys guest teaching locally, and at Beijing’s Central Conservatory, Paris Conservatoire, Leipzig and Stuttgart Hochschule, for the Japan Cello Society, at The Juilliard School, and at the Yale School of Music. Since 2003 he has developed an internationally sought-after cello studio at the Texas Christian University School of Music. There, he is also the artistic director of the TCU Cellofest, which draws pre-eminent artists-teachers to Fort Worth.
At TCU, he chaired the Faculty Senate, focusing on increasing academic profile, inclusive excellence, and institutional sustainability. Driven to further his understanding of American higher education, he completed the Management Development Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He also spent one year with the senior leadership at the University of Miami and at campuses across the nation, exploring academic leadership, innovation, and societal impact as a Fellow of the American Council on Education.
Of Peruvian heritage, raised in France and now a US citizen, Dr. Castro-Balbi graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur at Lyon, Indiana University Bloomington, and the Yale School of Music, and holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School. He had the privilege to learn from Iseut Chuat, Marc Coppey, Jean Deplace, Aldo Parisot, Janos Starker, and members of the Amadeus, Borodine, Juilliard, Ravel and Tokyo String Quartets.
I was fortunate to learn from masters to whom I am forever indebted. Among the most impactful memories of my younger years, I would like to mention Jean Deplace's gentle and warm wisdom and musicianship; Marc Coppey's intensity and integrity; Janos Starker’s principled approach to cello playing and music-making; Aldo Parisot’s generosity, freedom and humanity; performing the music of Borodine, Prokoviev and Tchaikovsky with Rostislav Dubinsky, the founding first violin of the Borodin Quartet; studying Beethoven with David Finckel, Wu Han, Henry Meyer and Isaac Stern in Israel; experiencing music anew with György Kurtág in Hungary; studying and performing the music of Boulez and Péter Eötvös with Pierre Boulez, David Robertson and members of the Ensemble Intercontemporain; learning and performing the Schubert Quintet with Martin Lovett and the Quatuor Rassaert; and re-discovering Brahms and Schubert with Norbert Brainin and Sigmund Nissel of the Amadeus Quartet in London.